Format: Paperback

#BookReview The Black Crescent by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheBlackCrescent #JaneJohnson #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Black Crescent by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheBlackCrescent #JaneJohnson #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Black Crescent

Author: Jane Johnson

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A captivating historical novel set in post-war Casablanca about a young man marked by djinns who must decide where his loyalties lie as the fight for Moroccan independence erupts.

Hamou Badi is born in a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains with the markings of the zouhry on his hands. In Morocco, the zouhry is a figure of legend, a child of both humans and djinns, capable of finding treasure, lost objects, and even water in the worst of droughts. But when young Hamou finds the body of a murdered woman, his life is forever changed.

Haunted by this unsolved murder and driven by the desire to do good in the world, Hamou leaves his village for Casablanca to become an officer of the law under the French Protectorate.

But Casablanca is not the shining beacon of modernity he was expecting. The forcible exile of Morocco’s sultan by the French sparks a nationalist uprising led by violent dissident groups, none so fearsome as the Black Crescent. Torn between his heritage and his employers, Hamou will be caught in the crossfire.

The lines between right and wrong, past and future, the old world and the new, are not as clear as the magical lines on his palms. And as the danger grows, Hamou is forced to choose between all he knows and all he loves.


Review:

Complex, evocative, and moving!

The Black Crescent is a compelling, gritty tale that sweeps you away to Morocco in the mid-1950s and into the life of Hamou Badi, a young man from the small village of Tiziane who, after discovering a murdered woman on his way home as a young boy, decides to train as a police officer in Casablanca to try to do some good in a country that is unfortunately full of unrest and upheaval and where simmering anger, questions of loyalty, and ongoing tension due to the French occupation is quickly coming to a violent head.

The prose is rich and smooth. The characters are kind, strong, and resilient. And the plot is a vivid, suspenseful tale filled with life, loss, friendship, family, folklore, religion, morality, self-identity, patriotism, survival, politics, romance, murder, and culture.

Overall, The Black Crescent is a thought-provoking, informative, atmospheric tale by Johnson that reminds us that often the choices we make have far-reaching consequences and has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, magic, culture, moral dilemmas, and heart-tugging emotion to be exceptionally pleasing to lovers, like myself, of the historical fiction genre.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

       

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

#BookReview The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay @uplitreads #TheBerlinLetters #KatherineReay #gifted #uplitreads

#BookReview The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay @uplitreads #TheBerlinLetters #KatherineReay #gifted #uplitreads Title: The Berlin Letters

Author: Katherine Reay

Published by: Harper Muse on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Bestselling author Katherine Reay returns with an unforgettable tale of the Cold War and a CIA code breaker who risks everything to free her father from an East German prison.

From the time she was a young girl, Luisa Voekler has loved solving puzzles and cracking codes. Brilliant and logical, she’s expected to quickly climb the career ladder at the CIA. But while her coworkers have moved on to thrilling Cold War assignments—especially in the exhilarating era of the late 1980s—Luisa’s work remains stuck in the past decoding messages from World War II.

Journalist Haris Voekler grew up a proud East Berliner. But as his eyes open to the realities of postwar East Germany, he realizes that the Soviet promises of a better future are not coming to fruition. After the Berlin Wall goes up, Haris finds himself separated from his young daughter and all alone after his wife dies. There’s only one way to reach his family—by sending coded letters to his father-in-law who lives on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

When Luisa Voekler discovers a secret cache of letters written by the father she has long presumed dead, she learns the truth about her grandfather’s work, her father’s identity, and why she has never progressed in her career. With little more than a rudimentary plan and hope, she journeys to Berlin and risks everything to free her father and get him out of East Berlin alive.

As Luisa and Haris take turns telling their stories, events speed toward one of the twentieth century’s most dramatic moments—the fall of the Berlin Wall and that night’s promise of freedom, truth, and reconciliation for those who lived, for twenty-eight years, behind the bleak shadow of the Iron Curtain’s most iconic symbol.


Review:

Gritty, intense, and informative!

The Berlin Letters is an edgy, insightful tale set between 1961 and 1989 that takes you into the life of Luisa Voekler, a CIA cryptographer living in DC who, after finding a pile of encrypted letters after her grandfather passes away, learns there’s more to her family’s history in Berlin before and after the wall was erected than she ever could have imagined. And though she has always been told that her parents were killed in an accident when she was young, she suddenly uncovers that her father is actually still alive and being held in a Stasi prison.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are troubled, inquisitive, and brave. And the plot, told in a past/present, back-and-forth style, is a tightly crafted, intriguing tale of life, loss, secrets, sacrifice, war, loyalty, passion, heartbreak, corruption, treachery, familial drama, politics, and repression.

Overall, The Berlin Letters is a compelling, absorbing, perceptive tale by Reay that not only satisfied and entertained me but did a wonderful job of opening my eyes to a dark time in history I lived through as a child but barely understood.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Katherine Reay

Katherine Reay is a writer, wife, mom, continually rehabbing runner, compulsive vacuumist and a horrific navigator…

She graduated from Northwestern University and earned an MS in Marketing from Northwestern as well. She then worked in marketing and development before returning to graduate school for a Masters of Theological Studies. Moves to Texas, England, Ireland and Washington left that degree unfinished as Katherine spent her time unpacking, raising kids, volunteering, writing, and exploring new storylines and new cities.

The Reay family (with a great sense of permanency) now resides outside Chicago, and Katherine pursues writing with more focus. She writes character-driven stories and non-fiction that focuses upon examining the past and how it influences our present experiences.

#BookReview The Girls We Sent Away by Meagan Church @mchurchwriter @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheGirlsWeSentAway #MeaganChurch #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Girls We Sent Away by Meagan Church @mchurchwriter @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheGirlsWeSentAway #MeaganChurch #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Girls We Sent Away

Author: Meagan Church

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

A searing book club read for fans of Ellen Marie Wiseman and The Girls with No Names set in the Baby Scoop Era of 1960s and the women of a certain condition swept up in a dark history.

It’s the 1960s and Lorraine Delford has it all – an upstanding family, a perfect boyfriend, and a white picket fence home in North Carolina. Yet every time she looks through her father’s telescope, she dreams of the stars. It’s ambitious, but Lorraine has always been exceptional. 

But when this darling girl-next-door gets pregnant, she’s forced to learn firsthand the realities that keep women grounded.  To hide their daughter’s secret shame, the Delfords send Lorraine to a maternity home for wayward girls. But this is no safe haven – it’s a house with dark secrets and suffocating rules. And as Lorraine begins to piece together a new vision for her life, she must decide if she can fight against the powers that aim to take her child or submit to the rules of a society she once admired.

Powerful and affecting, The Girls We Sent Away is a timely novel that explores autonomy, belonging, and a quest for agency when the illusions of life-as-you-know-it fall away.


Review:

Touching, emotional, and compelling!

The Girls We Sent Away is an absorbing, moving tale set in North Carolina during the 1960s that takes you into the life of high school senior Lorraine Delford who, after falling for the charms of the boy she is confident she will marry, finds herself pregnant, alone, and sent by her parents to a home for wayward girls until she has delivered her child and had it adopted out regardless of any wishes of her own she may have.

The prose is sentimental and rich. The characters are vulnerable, strong, and brave. And the plot is a tender, captivating blend of life, loss, secrets, dreams, surprises, grief, heartbreak, family, friendship, and motherhood.

Overall, The Girls We Sent Away is a compassionate, enlightening, hopeful tale by Church inspired by real-life events that is a haunting reminder of all those women who were shamed, coerced, and unimaginably suffered in these types of institutions for way too many years.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Meagan Church

Meagan Church is the author of The Last Carolina Girl and The Girls We Sent Away. She writes to tell grounded stories that explore the complexity of human nature. Her historical fiction chronicles the plight and fight of unheard voices of the past. After receiving a B.A. in English from Indiana University, Meagan built a career as a storyteller and freelance writer for brands, blogs and organizations. A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets.

#BookReview Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano @ElleCosimano @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #FinlayDonovanRollsTheDice #FinlayDonovan #ElleCosimano

#BookReview Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano @ElleCosimano @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #FinlayDonovanRollsTheDice #FinlayDonovan #ElleCosimano Title: Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice

Author: Elle Cosimano

Series: Finlay Donovan #4

Published by: Minotaur Books on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Finlay Donovan and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero are in sore need of a girls’ weekend away. They plan a trip to Atlantic City, but odds are―seeing as it’s actually a cover story to negotiate a deal with a dangerous loan shark, save Vero’s childhood crush Javi, and hunt down a stolen car―it won’t be all fun and games. When Finlay’s ex-husband Steven and her mother insist on tagging along too, Finlay and Vero suddenly have a few too many meddlesome passengers along for the ride.

Within hours of arriving in their seedy casino hotel, it becomes clear their rescue mission is going to be a bust. Javi’s kidnapper, Marco, refuses to negotiate, demanding payment in full in exchange for Javi’s life. But that’s not all―he insists on knowing the whereabouts of his missing nephew, Ike, who mysteriously disappeared. Unable to confess what really happened to Ike, Finlay and Vero are forced to come up with a new plan: sleuth out the location of Javi and the Aston Martin, then steal them both back.

But when they sneak into the loan shark’s suite to search for clues, they find more than they bargained for―Marco’s already dead. They don’t have a clue who murdered him, only that they themselves have a very convincing motive. Then four members of the police department unexpectedly show up in town, also looking for Ike―and after Finlay’s night with hot cop Nick at the police academy, he’s a little too eager to keep her close to his side.

If Finlay can juggle a jealous ex-husband, two precocious kids, her mother’s marital issues, a decomposing loan shark, and find Vero’s missing boyfriend, she might get out of Atlantic City in one piece. But will she fold under the pressure and come clean about the things she’s done, or be forced to double down?


Review:

Quirky, clever, and exceptionally entertaining!

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice is a vibrant, action-packed tale that takes us back into the lives of mystery writer Finlay Donovan and her nanny-turned-trusty sidekick Vero Ruiz as their plan to head to Atlantic City to negotiate with a ruthless loan shark, find a stolen car, and save the missing Javi goes a little sideways when Finlay’s mother, two kids, and ex-husband decide to tag along, bodies start piling up and need to be put on ice, and a whole slew of police officers and FBI agents show up uninvited.

The prose is dramatic and amusing. The characters are reckless, impulsive, and charming. And the plot is the perfect mix of witty banter, familial drama, humour, suspense, friendship, secrets, parenthood, deception, mayhem, dangerous situations, steamy moments, and sexy times.

For the past three years, the three previous novels in this series have topped my must-read list, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love an Elle Cosimano book more than I already did, she proved me wrong. Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice is escapism at its best and is hands down my new favourite novel in this outrageously zany series I can’t seem to get enough of.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

          

 

 

Thank you to Minotaur – St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elle Cosimano

ELLE COSIMANO is an award-winning author. Her YA debut, Nearly Gone, was an Edgar Award finalist and winner of the International Thriller Award. Her novel Holding Smoke was a finalist for the International Thriller Award and the Bram Stoker Award. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Elle lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, two sons, and her dog. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is her adult debut.

Photo by Powell Woulfe Photography.

#BookReview The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherValley #ScottAlexanderHoward #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherValley #ScottAlexanderHoward #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Other Valley

Author: Scott Alexander Howard

Published by: Scribner on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it’s the same valley, the same town–except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present. Edme––who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile––is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate, yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.


Review:

Intricate, unique, and thought-provoking!

The Other Valley is a clever, absorbing tale that takes you into the life of Odile, a young girl who has her life turned upside down when she accidentally glimpses people visiting from the east who are living twenty years in the future, one of her close friends suddenly dies, she destroys her chances of becoming a member of the influential Conseil, and she must decide whether she will risk her life to go twenty years in the past and enter the duplicate valley to the west to alter the one tragedy that changed so many lives forever.

The prose is raw and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, conflicted, and inured. And the plot is a mysterious, immersive tale of life, love, loss, family, friendship, self-identity, power, security, control, duty, desperation, and magical realism.

Overall, The Other Valley is a gripping, pensive, speculative story by Howard that did a beautiful job of incorporating a creative storyline, what-if fiction, and an atmospheric setting into a compelling coming-of-age tale full of reflection, friendship, and first love.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Scott Alexander Howard

Scott Alexander Howard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where his work focused on the relationship between memory, emotion, and literature. The Other Valley is his first novel.

Photograph by Veronica Bonderud

#BookReview Brooklyn by Tracy Brown @IAmTracyBrown @StMartinsPress #BrooklynTheBook #TracyBrown #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Brooklyn by Tracy Brown @IAmTracyBrown @StMartinsPress #BrooklynTheBook #TracyBrown #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Brooklyn

Author: Tracy Brown

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

Tracy Brown crafts a tale about a master manipulator and serial survivor, who will scorch earth to get what she wants. The question isn’t who murdered her; the question is who wouldn’t?

Brooklyn Melody James has finally gotten the punishment she deserves after leaving a web of lies, heartache, and betrayal behind her. As her life slips away, Brooklyn remembers the events that shaped her into the cold, calculating creature she became.

Brooklyn learned the art of hustling from her parents who used the church to get money. Idolizing her father and despising her mother, Brooklyn’s determined to be the type of woman who makes her own rules. When her back’s up against the wall, she sacrifices her family, takes the burnt offering that remains, and runs away. In NYC, young Brooklyn charms her way into the inner circle of hustlers and stick-up kids, learning tricks along the way. She catches the eye of a major player in the drug game, Hassan, and they have a breathless love affair. Brooklyn becomes integrated into his operation, earning the trust of Hassan and his associates. But when she gets the keys to the kingdom, driven by unfettered ambition and a ruthless desire to survive, Brooklyn snatches the pot of gold, leaving bitter retribution promises behind her.

From DC to Maryland, Brooklyn burns bridges and breaks hearts. What she doesn’t realize is that someone is prepared to end her reign of terror. As she faces her killer and her fate, Brooklyn’s stunned that justice comes from the least likely place.


Review:

Brisk, tight, and immersive!

Brooklyn is a gritty, absorbing tale that takes you on a journey into the life of Brooklyn Melody James, a young woman whose life spirals out of control when her selfishness and ambition lead her to destroy every caring relationship she ever has while simultaneously leaving a slew of hurt, angry people in her wake who are just waiting for her to get her own back.

The prose is crisp and tense. The characters are self-assured, brazen, and ruthless. And the plot is a fast-paced, captivating tale of life, love, loss, family, friendship, deception, lies, drama, manipulation, jealousy, secrets, revelations, tragedy, vengeance, and betrayal.

The sudden passing of Tracy Brown in May of last year was a tremendous loss for the literary world, and it was an honour to be able to read her final novel. Brooklyn is a dark, cunning, enthralling page-turner that I devoured in one sitting and was an excellent reminder that life is truly what you make it.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracy Brown

Tracy Brown is the Essence bestselling author of Boss; White Lines, White Lines II: Sunny, White Lines III: All Falls Down, Aftermath, Snapped, Twisted, Criminal Minded, Black and Dime Piece. She passed away two days after turning in Brooklyn—her final, and arguably best, book. The African Americans on the Move Book Club bestowed their Urban Classic Honor Award on Tracy's White Lines series in celebration of her legacy and impact on the literary world.

Photo Credit: Ashley Williams

#BookReview What We Buried by Robert Rotenberg @RobertRotenberg @SimonSchusterCA #WhatWeBuried #RobertRotenberg #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview What We Buried by Robert Rotenberg @RobertRotenberg @SimonSchusterCA #WhatWeBuried #RobertRotenberg #SimonSchusterCA Title: What We Buried

Author: Robert Rotenberg

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A Toronto homicide detective is attacked at his doorstep when his investigation into possible links between the Nazi occupation of Italy and the murder of his brother decades later gets too close to the truth—in the new crime thriller from bestselling author Robert Rotenberg. Perfect for fans of Scott Turow and David Baldacci.

It’s been years since Daniel Kennicott’s brother, Michael, was shot and killed the night before he was about to depart for Gubbio, Italy. The case, never solved, has haunted Daniel ever since. Long suspecting the killing was tied to Michael’s planned trip but overwhelmed with grief, Daniel has put off going there—until now, the tenth anniversary of the murder.

As he’s about to leave, Daniel learns that his two mentors, detectives Ari Greene and Nora Bering, have been more involved in the investigation of Michael’s murder than he ever knew. And they’re concerned about Daniel’s safety. But why? Is Daniel risking his life—and those of others—by trying to uncover the truth?

When Daniel arrives in the bucolic Italian hill town, he learns the past has not been put to rest. Residents are still haunted by the brutal Nazi occupation, the brave acts of the local freedom fighters, and the swift savagery of German retribution.

And as Daniel delves into his family’s deadly connection to Gubbio, Ari Greene searches for a killer closer to home.

Inspired by the true story of the Forty Martyrs in Gubbio, Italy, during World War II, What We Buried is an extraordinary crime novel about troubled legacies, revenge, and the unbreakable bonds of family.


Review:

Compelling, suspenseful, and fast-paced!

What We Buried is an intense, ominous tale that takes us into the life of Toronto detective Daniel Kennicott who, on the tenth anniversary of his brother’s murder, heads to Gubbio, Italy, to finally discover what his brother was working on before his death and uncover all the deep dark family secrets leading back to WWII that may have led to it.

The prose is meticulous and tight. The characters are persistent, troubled, and resourceful. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is an insightful, menacing tale about life, loss, tragedy, danger, desperation, secrets, survival, manipulation, betrayal, deception, deduction, violence, and wartime brutalities.

Overall, What We Buried is an absorbing, mysterious, well-written tale by Rotennberg inspired by real-life events that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an insightful, sinister tale that is intriguing and highly entertaining.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Robert Rotenberg

Robert Rotenberg is the author of several bestselling novels, including Old City Hall, The Guilty Plea, Stray Bullets, Stranglehold, Heart of the City, and Downfall. He is a criminal lawyer in Toronto with his firm Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin. He is also a television screenwriter and a writing teacher.

Photo by Ted Feld Photography.

#BookReview Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AJLandau #LeaveNoTrace #NationalParksThriller

#BookReview Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AJLandau #LeaveNoTrace #NationalParksThriller Title: Leave No Trace

Author: A. J. Landau

Series: National Parks Thriller #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In a daring, brutal act of terrorism, an explosion rocks and topples the Statue of Liberty. Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service is awakened by his boss with that news and sent to New York as the agent-in-charge. Not long after he lands, he learns two things – one that Gina Delgado of the FBI has been placed in charge of the investigation as the lead of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and two, that threats of a second terrorism attack are already being called into the media. While barred from the meetings of the Joint Task Force for his lack of security clearance, Walker finds a young boy among the survivors with a critical piece of information – a video linking the attackers to the assault.

As a radical domestic terrorist group, led by a shadowy figure known only as Jebediah, threatens further attacks against America’s cultural symbols, powerful forces within the government are misleading the investigation to further their own radical agenda.


Review:

Propulsive, twisty, and intense!

Leave No Trace is a sinister, action-packed thrill ride featuring the tenacious FBI ASAC Gina Delgado and the steadfast National Park Service ISB agent Michael Walker as they join forces to hunt down a group of cold, calculating mercenaries who are driven by vengeance, have their own deadly agenda, and are intent on causing as much destruction and devastation as they possibly can.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are astute, tenacious, and persistent. And the plot, with its short, intense chapters, keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you, page after page, into a world full of terrorism, politics, revenge, corruption, coercion, military operations, and domestic terrorist drama.

Overall, Leave No Trace is a meticulous, compelling, intricate mystery by this creative writing duo that kept me highly entertained from the very first page and left me more than a little eager to read what Walker and Delgado manage to get mixed up in next.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About A. J. Landau

A. J. LANDAU is the pseudonym for two authors, Jon Land, the award-winning, bestselling author and co-author of more than fifty books, and Jeff Ayers, reviewer, former-librarian, and author. Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and Jeff Ayers lives in Seattle, Washington.

#BookReview A Sea of Glass by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #ASeaOfGlass #TheSockbridgeSeries #GailAveryHalverson

#BookReview A Sea of Glass by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #ASeaOfGlass #TheSockbridgeSeries #GailAveryHalverson Title: A Sea of Glass

Author: Gail Avery Halverson

Series: Stockbridge #3

Published by: Gail Avery Halverson on Sep. 20, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 360

Format: Paperback

Source: Gail Avery Halverson

Book Rating: 9/10

In this rich, absorbing tale, Gail Avery Halverson continues the remarkable saga of Lady Catherine Abbott and Simon McKensie that began with the multiple award-winning novels, The Boundary Stone and The Skeptical Physick. Sweeping us from a quaint village in England to Colonial Boston and to the beautiful evils of 17th century Barbados, Gail Avery Halverson has once again written a truly compelling and unforgettable novel.

After a wrenching, heartbreaking tragedy, Catherine yearns for the safety and familiarity England, but when a free, black woman attempts to accomplish the unthinkable, Catherine is forced to decide where her future lies.

When a daring investment in the lucrative 17th century Barbados sugar trade takes a horrifying turn, Simon must at last set his dedication for medicine and scientific discovery aside and face the true ugliness of slavery.

Joining the multitude of courageous souls in the first waves of the Great Migration from England to America, Simon and Catherine McKensie lay witness to the forging of a new country, the first seeds of violent rebellion against the Crown, and the bitter tentacles of a slave trade just beginning to take root.


Review:

Captivating, immersive, and adventurous!

A Sea of Glass is a vivid, atmospheric tale that picks up where The Skeptical Physick left off, taking us back to the mid-1600s and into the lives of Simon, Catherine and their loved ones as they start their new lives in Boston, struggle with the horrifying commonplace of slavery, and head out on the high seas on a rescue mission that gives them a front row seat to the rare beauty of the landscape but also the barbaric ugliness of life on the sugar plantations of Barbados.

The prose is insightful and engaging. The characters are dependable, resourceful, and empathetic. And the plot is a tender, enlightening tale full of life, loss, love, courage, sacrifice, pirates, savagery, injustice, slavery, family, friendship, thrilling escapades, and life in early Boston.

Overall, A Sea of Glass is another fascinating, creative, engrossing read by Halverson that does a brilliant job of highlighting her undoubtable passion and tireless research into seventeenth-century Boston and the political tensions and attitudes that governed and ruled it.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

    

 

 

Thank you to Gail Avery Halverson for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gail Avery Halverson

Award-winning writer, Gail Avery Halverson, is the author of The Boundary Stone, and its sequel, The Skeptical Physick, a historical romance novel set in 1666 England at the time of the Great Fire and the Scientific Revolution. The Boundary Stone is a Chaucer Award Finalist (historical fiction), a Cygnus Award Finalist (speculative fiction), and a Chatelaine Award Winner (historical romantic fiction). The Skeptical Physick is currently long-listed for both the Chatelaine and the Chaucer Awards. Ms. Halverson is also the writer/producer for “Take it From The Top,” (sitcom pilot, Twin One Productions, Inc.), as well as the playwright and composer of musical plays that have been performed for nearly 300,000 children since 2004. Writing for both theater and television, she holds a B.A. in English Literature/Communications from the University of California, Davis, and is currently at work on the third novel in the Stockbridge Series. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Lilith by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad @BlackstoneAudio #EricRickstad #Lilith #BlackstonePublishing

#BookReview Lilith by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad @BlackstoneAudio #EricRickstad #Lilith #BlackstonePublishing Title: Lilith

Author: Eric Rickstad

Published by: Blackstone Publishing on Mar. 19, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 245

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Blackstone Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of I Am Not Who You Think I Am—a New York Times Thriller of the Year—comes Lilith, an incendiary powerhouse of a novel that strikes straight at the wounded heart of America.

After her son Lydan suffers traumatic injuries in a school shooting, single mom Elisabeth Ross grows enraged at men in power. If they won’t do anything to help end this epidemic of violence, she will. Believing it’s her destiny, she sets out to awaken the world to the cowards these men are and commits her own shocking act of violence.

Going by the name Lilith—the first wife of Adam who fled Eden rather than serve a man—she posts a video of her crime that reverberates throughout society.

Praised by some, demonized by others, and sought by the FBI and vigilantes alike, Elisabeth must keep her identity a secret as she tries to care for her son.

As events take startling twists, Elisabeth begins to question her act of violence and the very roots and mythology of violence itself. Was her act justified or has she become the monster that the original Lilith was accused of being?

When the FBI draws closer, and Lydan starts to display odd, terrifying behavior, Elisabeth plots to avoid capture and keep her son safe, fearing she’ll never escape what she’s done without losing her son forever.

Written with Rickstad’s singular command of language, human insight, and unnerving suspense, Lilith is a tale of our times. Tragic and profound, it echoes in the mind and lingers in the blood.


Review:

Powerful, haunting, memorable, and timely!

Lilith is a gritty, moving, frightening tale that takes you into the life of elementary school teacher and single mother Elisabeth Ross who, after a school shooting leaves her son Lydan physically and emotionally changed, damaged and scarred forever, takes it upon herself to retaliate and enact her own style of vengeance on those who turn a blind eye to gun violence and prosper by the sale of these deadly weapons that steal too many innocent lives.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, troubled, and strong. And the plot is a raw, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, strength, parenthood, hope, survival, violence, injustice, community, unconscionable politics, and fear.

Overall, Lilith makes you think, it makes you feel, and it ultimately resonates long after the final page. It’s a beautifully written, sobering, impactful tale by Rickstad that uses extraordinary character development to weave a combination of an impressive, sad mystery with a heartrending, realistic tale, all steeped in an abundance of preventable tragedies and unimaginable pain that highlights just how blurry the line between right and wrong can truly often be.

This novel is available March 19, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Eric Rickstad

Eric Rickstad is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Who You Think I Am, Reap, What Remains of Her, and the Canaan Crime Trilogy, which has sold more than a half million copies worldwide. He lives in Vermont with his wife, daughter, and son.